Steelers don't rule out drafting quarterback early
By Marc Sessler
Published: Jan. 17, 2013 at 10:19 a.m. Updated: Jan. 17, 2013 at 10:38 a.m.
Ben Roethlisberger has been a fixture under center for the Pittsburgh Steelers dating back to 2004, but is the team beginning to think ahead?
Coming off a disappointing 8-8 campaign, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Wednesday the team could see a major roster shakeup in the offseason. Colbert's most surprising revelation came at quarterback, where Pittsburgh is open to drafting a passer in the first round for the first time in almost a decade.
"We won't close the door on any position in any round," Colbert told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "We can't ... Once we get into free agency and the draft, I don't see any position that's off limits."
It's notable because the Steelers have publicly swatted down the concept of drafting a quarterback in the early rounds ever since Big Ben was chosen 11th overall in 2004. The team has mainly relied on old-as-trees veterans at the position. Roethlisberger has been durable -- and certainly productive -- enough to allow that.
The 30-year-old, two-time Super Bowl winner started 13 games this season, but battled through painful injuries for the second year in a row. Roethlisberger still played at an MVP level for stretches, and Pittsburgh isn't about to uproot him for another, but the team is acknowledging that even their sturdy situation under center can't last forever.